Durham thrash Leicestershire with Scott Steel leading way in rapid chase

Durham were powered on their way by some brutal hitting from their 20-year-old opener Steel, who made his Twenty20 debut only last week but already has two half-centuries to his name

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Leicestershire Foxes slumped to a third consecutive defeat as Durham raced to a nine-wicket win in just 11.1 overs in their Vitality Blast North Group match at the Fischer County Ground.

Durham were powered on their way by some brutal hitting from their 20-year-old opener Scott Steel, who made his Twenty20 debut only last week but already has two half-centuries to his name.

Smashing sixes off with abandon, Steel raced to his second fifty off just 19 deliveries as Durham plundered 91 runs in the six Powerplay overs to make the result almost a formality.

He was out for 70 - his best so far - and though much of his ball-striking was short on finesse it was mightily effective, and with the Australian D’Arcy Short contributing a more cultured but nonetheless rapid unbeaten 77, the home side suffered one of the more savage defeats of their history in the short format.

Leicestershire were bowled out for 158 after winning the toss and opting to bat first, disappointingly losing their last five wickets for seven runs off the final 10 deliveries of their 20 overs after skipper Colin Ackerman had struck 58 off 41 balls.

Durham seamer Matty Potts finished with a hat-trick for figures of three for 28 after his first two overs had gone for 24 runs.

The Foxes won the toss and a series of lusty blows by Mark Cosgrove gave them a cracking start, the burly Australian racing to 36 off 19 balls with six fours and a six driven over long-on off Chris Rushworth.

But after an ugly heave against Nathan Rimmington cost Cosgrove his wicket in the fifth over, the innings ran into trouble, not helped by a muscle injury to Neil Dexter that required him to summon Cosgrove back out as a runner, to the amusement of the home bench.

Arron Lilley then broke his bat driving Liam Trevaskis through the off side but faced only one delivery with the replacement, offering the left-arm spinner a rather tame return catch in the last of the Powerplay overs, which yielded 58 runs thanks to Cosgrove’s early impetus.

Dexter, struggling to move his feet much at all let alone run, was bowled off stump by Brydon Carse off the first delivery of the seventh over.

The second block of six overs saw the Foxes add only 28 runs, which was a measure of how well Durham had fought back, in particular Trevaskis, who had Lewis Hill caught at deep backward square on the sweep to finish with an impressive two for 24 from his four overs.

Colin Ackermann brought his experience to bear with a 38-ball half-century but just as he and Harry Dearden tried to step up the pace of scoring with a slog-sweep apiece for six off D’Arcy Short, Dearden was undone as he tried to scoop a quicker ball from the Australian left-armer and Rushworth jogged in to take the catch.

Ackerman himself was bowled for 58 as he misread a slower ball from Rimmington, who bowled Adil Ali with a similar delivery two balls later to finish with an excellent three for 25, concluding with two wickets for just six runs in a skilful final over.

There was still a chance to push the total near to 170 with a productive final over, but it was Potts who had the last word, bowling Dieter Klein before Callum Parkinson perished to the next two balls in almost identical fashion, both leg before attempting scoop shots.

All round it was a depressing night for the Foxes, who sit bottom of the North Group table and do not look like climbing off it any time soon.

Courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network.

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